VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT

By Mehul Patel

We’ve headed into the business end of the season and yet again, all our early season optimism has crumbled into pieces. For us, it’s all so distressingly common and is something so curiously baffling, the way we seem to rotate in this distasteful, endless cycle. Dreadfully substandard – the recent performances – turned this international break into a welcome one.

It’s been a devastating sequence of six defeats since the end of January and four, in the last five. And  the enactment of the ties against Bayern befittingly embodied the earlier mentioned cycle.  It’s the seventh consecutive time, in as many years of course, that we’ve failed to go past the round of 16 stage of the Europe’s elite competition. The performances, after that exit from UCL, have been quite surprisingly awful, too! It has been a ‘unique patch’. Down the years, bouncing back straightaway after a bad defeat has been our thing. But unlike other seasons, this term, we’re not able to get over this miserable run.

 

For us, these are pretty ordinary days and are resulting in the ever rising frustration levels which are justified to an extent. But the air of spite, that kind of has environed our club, is so unfortunate. We all were allured, at the first place, by the guys in red and white playing the strikingly beautiful game, that is football. In these tough times, here are three things for us, Gooners, that I’ve listed to contemplate upon.

 

We’ve moved forward smartly – “Nobody likes Arsenal, is it? Well, no, only Arsenal fans like Arsenal. I was brought up not liking them.” No, not just another misanthrope, it’s the legendary Brian Clough who, when interviewed about our ‘brilliant’ Invincibles, used these words. It’s been a long, wearisome journey for us, since that scintillating feat. Looking up the Clough’s quote, being an Arsenal fan who resides in foreign lands, I’m quite certain about it being a thing of past. The fans from neutral backgrounds, who happen to love the game due to its beauty, certainly won’t be having an opinion, as that of Brian Clough. The much lauded brand of football and an air of class stand by the brand – ‘The Arsenal Way’.

The reason, I complied the above mentioned lines, is to corroborate that our beloved Arsenal FC has moved forward, in the proper track. These days, there are many Gooners, who share the opinion that Arsenal have not moved forward despite moving stadiums but I beg to differ! The prime reason to move to the Emirates, as is well documented, was to make Arsenal FC a ‘modern, supergiant’ of a football club! It was  to increase our match day revenue to compete with the big clubs.  According to the numbers, unfurled by our club, this move to the Emirates, which shines with its state of the art facilities, enables us to spend significant amounts of money each season in recruiting, as long as we’re playing UCL, however extra broadcasting revenues may make the UCL money slightly less important. The last summer transfer window being an example. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England. Progress?

 

Values – In my opinion, the values of any football club are just as important an any other aspect of a football club. Any football club is an embodiment of its values. ”Victoria Concordia Crescit” – as our club’s motto reads out, whose translation is something we’re all aware of, yet, quite ironically we share as divided of a fanbase as any, in the Premier League. And the most recent trip, to the Hawthorns did stand for the aforementioned statement. The current scenario, regarding our manager’s future is for me bothersome and is, for sure, not harmonic. Every football fan shares this wonderful responsibility of acting as a representative of his/her respective club. Representing a club, as posh as ours, calls for an air of class. Yeah, “Football is much more serious than just life and death” as the legendary Bill Shankly acknowledged and it certainly is a game of emotions but respecting everyone’s opinions doesn’t require a lot of labour. Let us all put an effort to, simply, be more respectful to each other’s opinions.

 

Our part – “It’s down to us to create the momentum in the crowd. It’s not down to the crowd to create that. The crowd is behind us.” This is what our manager thinks, regarding the ambience of The Emirates. And that’s quite right, as well! But, in these lousy days, the club is badly in need of inspiration. The upcoming two fixtures, as we’re aware of, are at the Emirates and we, Gooners, can fill the bill. The club’s wellbeing is what we all desire for and opportunities are looming, for us, to do our bits. Can the only agenda for all the Gooners, going to the Emirates, not be backing those guys in red and white? This has nothing to do with if you want the manager to leave or stay, it’s looking at the short term and that is how to do our bit to improve results. That’s absolutely the need of the hour and honestly, it takes nothing but pride to lift up a voice, ”Oh to, Oh to be, Oh to be a Gooner!”

 

 

 

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